Sunscreen is the most important step in your daily skincare routine. I always tell clients everything we work with in the salon and the products they use at home will not give them the optimal results if they are skipping this essential step, especially considering the climate we live under!
Applying sunscreen is non-negotiable irrespective of the weather forecast or your skin tone. UV (ultraviolet) rays are present even during those cloudy days, which is why it’s recommended you apply your SPF even during those grey days as well. Contrary to popular belief, black and other people of colour do need to apply sunscreen as much as those of a fairer complexion. Though the risk of skin cancer is much lower in African skin compared to white skin, black skin is still equally vulnerable to the other side effects of the sun’s harsh rays.
What UVA & UVB?
Broad spectrum is what one should be looking out for when making the purchase of a sunscreen. Broad spectrum protection means protection from the two forms of Ultraviolet light that can affect the skin after exposure – UVA and UVB.
UVA has a longer wave that penetrates into the thickest layer of your skin, the dermis layer. This is what’s also referred to as the “living layer of your skin as it contains the blood vessels, collagen, fibroblasts, elastin and other cells which maintain the integrity and youthfulness of the skin. Damage to these cells results in
- Sagging skin
- Break down of collagen
- Dry skin
UVB rays have a shorter wave and are responsible for sunburn, which is the burning of the top layer of the skin. This leads to:
- Premature ageing
- DNA damage causing premature ageing can all be a result of UVB exposure.
Whilst melanin does protect against some UV rays, it doesn’t protect us against all. Sun burn does happen to us and our melanin is usually the reason why skin cancer is detected at a late and possibly fatal stage.
How To Choose A Sunscreen
The golden rule when choosing a sunscreen is selecting anything between SPF 30 and 50, what do these numbers mean? The PA rating is a system ranking sunscreens based on the amount of protection they can provide from UVA rays. It basically indicates the amount of time you can stay under direct exposure to the sun without getting UV damage, e.g. SPF 15 = 150 minutes burning. It’s recommended that you reapply your sunscreen throughout the day, especially when directly exposed to the sun’s rays. Factor 30 will block out about 97% of UV rays whereas SPF 50 will block out about 98% and give you a bit more time before experiencing sun burn.
No More Ashy Melanin
Sunscreens have gotten a bad rap for leaving a white, pasty film on the skin but with modern technologies, newer formulations have created more brown skin friendly sunscreens which blend in with all skin tones. Looking grey and ashy is no longer an excuse to not layer up. Physical sunscreens were responsible for that white residue as they contain titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. New physical formulations have been micronized by grinding larger particles sizes into smaller sizes that don’t leave white residues on the skin making it more aesthetically acceptable. Physical sunscreens protect the skin by sitting on top and reflecting the UV rays off the surface of the skin. This is where the term sunblock originated from however sunscreen and sunblock is pretty much one and the same thing. Physical sunscreens are ideal for sensitive and reactive skin so they’re a great pick if you are prone to irritation. Chemical sunscreens protect the skin by absorbing UV rays and generally have a more translucent finish. The absorption of UV can increase heat in the skin which may cause irritation on rosacea skin. There’s also combination sunscreens which have both physical and chemical properties.
Photosensitivity is caused by products and treatments which make the skin more vulnerable to UV damage. These include chemical peels, lasers, Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA), Beta Hydroxys Acids (BHA) as well as retinol. All these are very safe and effective in treating various indications however sunscreen usage is imperative to make sure that you get the best and safest results from these super ingredients. Post inflammatory pigmentation and scarring can occur in the case of photosensitivity without SPF protection. Black and brown skins are more at risk of hyperpigmentation especially when the skin is exposed to trauma and UV rays.
Sunscreen helps protect against UVA and UVB rays but it may not protect the body completely which, is why we do not recommended laying under the sun. It is possible to get a tan while using sunscreen even when ensuring to reapply sunscreen throughout the day. A tan is the body’s natural protective response to UV – evidence that there’s been skin damage due to excessive melanocyte (your pigment producing cells, responsible for your complexion) activity as a result of UV exposure.
Sunscreen For Every Skin Type
There’s a sunscreen for all skin types, oil free and matte finish textures for your oily and acne prone skin and cream-based SPF’s for dry skin as well as lotion like products for your combination skin. SPF in make up does not give you adequate protection as you do not apply enough of a cosmetic product to get the full SPF factor of the product. Layering up SPF also does not work, factor 15 in your foundation plus and factor 15 in your moisturizer does not give you SPF 30. It is also recommended that you use a stand-alone sunscreen vs a 2 in 1 product because the efficacy of SPF factor or moisturizing properties are lost when trying to combine these two products. You’ll always get the most of a product when it has a single function.
Sunscreen should be part of your daily routine, whether going about your day or enjoying the outdoors under direct exposure. There’s a product for every skin type and lifestyle. It is also important to note the sunscreen or sunblock do not prevent skin tanning or burning, exposure to the sun will brown melanated skin even more, but melanin is for Africa, the place of the Sun, melanated skin tolerates the effects of the sun better.
Are you trying to find new ways to improve your memory, gain control over your emotions, and boost your ability to multitask?
A new brain scan study may be just the incentive you need to put yoga at the top of your to-do list.
Yoga is an art, a science and a philosophy that is more than 5,000 years old. It touches the life of humans at every level, physical, mental, and spiritual. It is a practical method for making one’s life purposeful, useful and noble. But it is more than that and that is why it has grown in popularity all over the world.
Even if you are not trying to be spiritual you will definitely benefit from yoga. And yoga can be practised by anybody regardless of age, body size. It is also safe for most diseases and illnesses and can be beneficial for those recovering from injuries.
CLEAR, STRONG MIND
Studies may have found a link between yoga’s movements, meditation and breathing practices and an increase in the size of key brain areas. Those areas are involved in thinking clearly, decision-making, memory and regulating emotions. Science may be leading us into the direction of yoga to being beneficial for healthy brain function.
Collectively, the studies pointed to a link between yoga and increased size in the brain’s hippocampus. Involved in memory and learning, the hippocampus shrinks with age and is the first part of the brain affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia.
KEEP CALM & DO YOGA
Yoga also appeared to expand the amygdala, a brain area involved in emotions; the prefrontal cortex, which is involved in planning and making choices; and the cingulate cortex, which plays an important part in regulating emotions, learning and memory.
Yoga practitioners were also found to fare better on mental performance tests, the study team observed.
In today’s busy and high pressure world, it is important to be able to control our emotions as this helps us to regulate and prevent stress. Yoga is a cure for negative emotions such as anxiety, anger and balances mood swings
FLEXIBLE, BALANCED BODY
Many of us under estimate the importance of stretching, it becomes more important as we grow older. Yoga focuses a lot on flexibility, balance and strength, especially of core muscles. This helps to improve our posture, which is important if you spend a lot of time seated at a desk. Stretching and flexibility and muscle strength prevent injuries such as lower back pains. Stretching and increased flexibility also relieves stress, which can be stored as chemical toxins in our muscles.
AFFORDABLE, FULL BODY EXERCISE
Anyone who does or has tried yoga will tell you that yoga is not easy. Yoga works all muscles, increases muscles strength and increases blood circulation. Most times all you need is a yoga mat. There are plenty free yoga videos on the Internet. A 30mins yoga session will burn around the same amount of calories as a 30mins fast-paced walk. There are also different kinds of yoga practices, some are more physically intense than others, making yoga a good all-round exercise routine for the very unfit to the very fit.
IMPROVED GENERAL HEALTH
Yoga has been scientifically proven to improve health all around. It improves the health of the heart by lowering blood pressure. High blood pressure is the leading cause of heart attacks and strokes. Increasingly, people are starting to develop diseases such as high blood pressure at younger ages. Yoga also decreases inflammation in the body, if left untreated, inflammation can eventually cause cancers.
Yoga improves the quality of sleep. Sleep is a very important aspect of a healthy body. A good amount of sleep a day is important for the body to heal itself and regenerate.
There is still a lot more research that is to be done to find out what it is about yoga that is causing these effects, it would be an easy guess that yoga combines both mind and body, and is thus able to activate numerous pathways.
There is this mentally that yoga is not for men, but it is important to know that Yoga is not for sissies. It is a serious discipline and within this concept is the significant physical and cognitive stimulation.
It is also something you would need to practice repeatedly to get into the swing of things just like any new habit you be introducing to your body. It may be something you enjoy or not but that can only be determined by practising repeatedly. Before you shut down the idea or thought of incorporating yoga to your routine think of the health benefits mentioned.
It is important to try find an activity that is physically and mentally stimulating. It also may not be something you start doing immediately but doing something research around it and its benefits may lead into the right direction and yoga may just be that activity for you.
In the shower, every morning before I start my day, I always ask for the universe to bless me with more productive energy, because the universe knows better. For the longest time, I‘ve always believed that I was cursed with a sleeping disorder. I am literally those people, who jump out of bed, make their bed and before they leave the house, I look at my bed and say to it “I can’t wait to see you later” because if I’m being brutally honest with myself, that is my sacred haven. There is no better place in the world for me than my room, my bed. But this is not particularly something I am proud of. I wish I were more the type of person who hears their alarm go off once and springs out of bed. I wasn’t always like this though; I’d like to believe that my varsity time period had a lot to do with my changed body clock.
Back in my days, I use to be a part of the 5 am club. This is a concept by Robin Sharma who believes that the 5 am club is something practiced by some of the most successful CEOs in the world. The idea of waking up at 5 am means that you can do more with your day than others if you consider the fact that the average waking time for most people is at 7 am. You have a 2-hour head start, which means you can do more with your day. This was by far my most favorite routine as I found myself to be at my most productive during this time. It’s tricky now, I won’t lie, it being winter and all, but it is still a winning recipe. In those two hours, you can exercise, meditate/pray, journal, read, type up emails, work on a proposal and ideas you may have for yourself or your business. At times it may feel as if you are working with energy that you don’t even have to begin with, but the amount of energy you will have throughout the day is immeasurable.
This routine, including a supporting diet, is all one needs to be honest. The food that we eat contributes a significant amount to how hard we push during the day. Consume foods that flood your body with essential and good nutrition. You know during lunchtime, we tend to be unforgiving, especially if you work in the office and your colleagues just went to buy some food from the food truck station, and before you know it you’re also ordering your plate of a full meal with includes carbs, meat, salad, and excess oil. Not long after that meal you are stuffed. Being too full can hinder your ability to continue your day filled with energy. It’s imperative that we practice good diet habits and drink water regularly, and of course, get in those snoozes. Sleep is necessary; if you find that 7 hours of sleep may be too much, you can cut it down but nothing less than 5 hours. For as long your body rests, otherwise, it will eventually crash, and what is the purpose behind that?
Read more books that inspire your cause. There is honestly nothing as quite as motivating than reading books by authors whose journeys resonate with yours. It’s said that the top successful people in the world read an estimated 50 books a year, which is slightly over 1 book a week. You have to find the time to read. Nowadays there are audible books for those who aren’t big readers as yet, and for those who can’t find the time to sit down and read a book, it does, however, need your attention. But you must read, more than you are doing at the current moment.
Align your headspace. If there is clutter in mind you need to clear it pronto. You always need a clear head that steers away from the drama. Hence meditation is essential. A lot of people still do not understand the concept behind the meditation practice. But it’s basically about clearing your head from all of its distractions and finding a clear uninterrupted Zen that will allow you to connect better with God. Many people have reached unbelievable revelations about themselves, ideas, and answers through this process. There is no better way for you to get to know yourself. Just clear the clutter before each day then press the start button and you’re set. Lastly exercising, you need an exercising routine, one that works for you of course. These days I just find it impossible to be outside for too long, I just can’t seem to stomach the cold, so what I do is yoga, right in the middle of my sitting room. Whatever I do, I just make sure that I break a sweat at least 4 times a week. It motivates me, especially when I feel like I just cannot anymore. It reminds me of how much I can actually persist through, and it is pretty much the same with life.
Everything in this beautiful life needs a regime, from moisturizing your hair to your skin care routine. So, with that being said, girl are your curls doing the THING? Don’t worry we got you, here’s a great break down on how to get your curls looking prim and PROPER!!!
First of all, detangle and make sure your hair is clear of knots. You can do so, by sectioning your hair, use an oil or leave in conditioner plus a detangling comb. Then, use the Girl Boss Natural Hair Co-Wash to cleanse your hair. While cleaning your hair use a wide toothed comb to comb out extra knots. This will also separate your curl pattern. Once that is done, rise it out.
Section your hair into 4 parts. Take the first part and apply the Girl Boss Natural Hair Deep Conditioner to your hair, make sure the amount you add covers your hair well enough. Finger comb your hair strands and plait into a twist. Do this to all other sections. Then cover your hair with a plastic shower cap or a plastic bag if you don’t have one. Sit in the sun for 10-15 min. However, for the extra queens you can keep it in for over that, even up to an hour. Thereafter, wash it out. After conditioning, your hair always looks extra good, its super soft and the curls will be a bit more defined than usual.
Section your hair again and add the Girl Boss Curl Defining Butter to the first part. Add a good amount but not too much, you can comb out your hair, this will break the curls. However, if you want them in its natural state, don’t manipulate the hair. Do this to all parts. If your hair is 4c and you aren’t satisfied with the curls, you can do twist outs or braid out using the LOC method (use Leave-In-Conditioner, Oil and Creme), leave it in for a hair then undo them afterwards.
The Curl Defining Butter acts as a sealant because its thick and it’s a “butter”. However, it’s important to base your scalp, therefore use the Girl Boss Hair Growth Oil or Growth Butter to seal extra moisture and give your hair shine without weighing it down.
And lastly you can use the Girl Boss Leave in Conditioner, this will soften the hair and make it manageable. For the ladies with 4a or 3c hair, this can be used as a curl refresher combined with water. You know some curls love water! And there you have it, your Curls Popping.
“After twelve, it’s lunch.” This would seem like a straight forward statement but all is not as it seems. The above statement is dark, very dark. The phrase is one that is regularly used by grown South African men, referring to young teenage girls. In basic terms, the phrase says that once a girl has turned thirteen years of age, it is okay to engage in a sexual relationship with her. This has become the norm in South Africa. It is not shocking to find adult men interacting with teenage girls in inappropriate ways. This is taking place everywhere, from taxi-ranks to the classroom, and usually ends with the young teenager in a grown man’s bed. It ends there but it starts elsewhere. It starts with what is called Grooming.
Grooming is the act where an adult will befriend a young, innocent teenager to gain her trust, lower her inhibitions, and make her engage in sexual activities. As a first step, the adult finds a convenient way to be in regular contact with the teenager. This has been made easier by technology as we have smartphones that have different means of maintaining communication. The adult, who is a predator in this instance, takes advantage of the teenager by various means. Firstly, the teenager’s vulnerable nature is taken advantage of. These teenagers barely know anything about life or a relationship that is sexual. They are lured by being made to feel special. These predators usually shower the teenager with compliments of how she looks older than she is, how she is different from her peers, and how much she means to the predator.
A teenager growing into maturity is easily swayed by sweet words that mean nothing, especially when the words are coming from an adult that has experienced the world. The adult carrying out these acts will use gifts to strengthen his actions. These people give teenagers gifts such as airtime, pocket money, and take-away like KFC. It has also become apparent that these adults may even go to a greater extent of buying expensive gifts such as fashion items, cell phones, and jewellery. These acts may be used in the future by the adult to manipulate the teenager into doing what they want.
These disgusting acts lead to the loss of many teenagers’ innocence as well as other much-untold damage. The effects of these actions may be felt by the victims even in their adult years. The adults who take advantage of teenagers should be stopped as participating in sexual activities with a minor is statutory rape but it appears there is no help coming. South Africa is a country that is well known for having a low rape conviction rate.
On the 27th of April, Twitter was abuzz with the discussion of grooming and predatory behaviour by men towards young teenage girls. Varying opinions were given. A large number of women spoke of being victims of grooming, being taken advantage of as teenagers by older men, and partaking in their first sexual experience with these men. They rightfully claimed that these adults should be held accountable. There was a fightback from several men who held a different view. These men claimed that it was the teenage girls’ fault that they were being courted by grown men. This, apparently, is because they are forward, enjoy the attention, and dress inappropriately (pure nonsense if you ask me).
Let’s look at some solutions I have come up with:
- This kind of thinking is unbecoming and should be nipped at the bud. Adults who take part in such activities should seek psychological help.
- Introspection should take place, they should question why such thoughts come to their mind. They are responsible for their behaviour and should be held accountable for it.
- Parents should play a role by monitoring their children’s behaviour and movement.
- It is also a good idea to know who their child is communicating with on their phones, who their friends are, and where they spend time after school or when not at home.
- Older men have no business talking to young girls, therefore, run as soon as you recognize something isn’t right. Listen to that gut feeling.
- Teenage girls should aware of the 5 warning signs of grooming. When these signs are present, get out and tell a parent. Please see below:
- Older men will offer you things.
- The older man’s behaviour will change after they have gained your trust e.g. be distant, the relationship will have highs and lows.
- You will feel like they have power over you.
- An older man will encourage you to see him alone.
- The older man will have threatening behaviour e.g. threaten you or your family.
- Society also has a responsibility to these kids, if any questionable behaviour exhibited by an adult towards teenagers, is seen it should be criticised and pointed out for what it is.
- Parents of the relevant children should be informed as soon as possible. If the law is broken, the justice system should be involved expeditiously. Such criminal acts should not be condoned or ignored. These are actions that can ruin a person for the duration of their life.
As a society, we should act and spread the message against such behaviour. We should fight to curb the idea that the pursuit of teenage children by fully grown adults is not okay, it is a crime! Children should be allowed to grow to their fullest potential in every aspect. They are after all the future of the country.